Mike Castrucci has made some pretty important friends in some pretty high places since purchasing Champion Ford of Alexandria, Ky., and opening his new Mick Castrucci Ford/Lincoln Mercury of Alexandria. His new venture is already gaining rave reviews, reported the Community Recorder.

Castrucci bought Champion Ford on Nov. 1, and his dealership went to work almost immediately -- selling cars on-site minutes after the contract was signed, the newspaper reported.

The new owners want to improve the customer satisfaction level at the dealership and many new employees have been hired, including a fresh management team, Smith said.

"We're trying to improve our image with customers," he said.

The Lincoln-Mercury franchise license was obtained from Kerry Lincoln-Mercury in Florence, Ky., which has changed to a Toyota dealership, it was reported.

The dealership has already remodeled the showroom's interior and the building's exterior, but there are plans to expand the showroom so the Lincoln-Mercury brand can have its own area, a Ford requirement, an employee told the newspaper.

Additional customer parking has been added and the used car lot area has been expanded.

There will be more vehicles on display at the dealership with about 400 new cars, and an additional 125 used cars.

Ron Burke, director of fixed operations for the dealership, said there is an effort underway to make sure customers leave happy.

"We intend to be in the community for a long time," Burke said.

Alexandria Mayor Dan McGinley was quoted as saying he appreciated that the dealership's managers met with the city shortly after taking over ownership to discuss their plans.

McGinley said Burke discussed plans with him about the Lincoln-Mercury showroom expansion and the possibility of a collision specialty center.

"It seems like they're serious about doing business in Alexandria and we're glad they're here," McGinley said in the report.